You’ve likely heard of—and lived through! —the weather phenomenon that is El Niño. As a matter of fact, we technically just got out of what is being called one of the worst recorded El Niño’s in history, but that doesn’t mean the weird weather is gone for good.
NOAA, the government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has recently announced that there is a 55-65% chance that a La Niña will show her face in the 2017/2018 winter season.
Now, it’s important to note that just because La Niña is lesser-known doesn’t mean she won’t pack a punch. The unique climate pattern is characterized by extreme, and often contradicting, weather conditions that can have profound consequences in various parts of the world.
For instance, South America is expected to experience a crippling drought, while Southeast Asia could be hit will torrential rains and flooding.
Here in the United States, you can expect a range of bizarre conditions, depending on where you reside.
Here’s the breakdown of what to expect region-by-region:
- The Southern states—Southern California all the way east to Florida—will likely experience a warmer-than-average, dry winter.
- The Plains and Lower Midwest are slightly less predictable, with temperatures and precipitation levels potentially falling in the ‘normal’ category.
- The Upper Midwest and the Eastern Pacific Northwest may experience frostier temperatures and a lot more rain and snow than what has been seen in recent years.
- New England, as well as many areas along the Eastern Seaboard, should be a tad warmer than normal, with a bit more precipitation than the past several seasons.
What La Niña does and why she does it
While an El Niño is known to warm up the Earth’s atmosphere (Fun Fact: The most recent El Niño helped 2015 become one of the hottest years on record!), La Niña does the opposite.
You see, La Niña is characterized by cold ocean temperatures near the Eastern Pacific, along the Earth’s equator. As the waters whirl, the powerful force cools down this ocean, which can lead to what we outlined above—unseasonably cold, warm, wet, or dry conditions, depending on the region.
Although we’d guess that all of you Southerners are looking to welcome a long dry spell after the disastrous rainfall and flooding this past summer, Las Niñas don’t always have the best effect on this area.
While the La Niña is placed in the Pacific, meteorologists are predicting that she could end up making a bit of disruption in the Atlantic Ocean, which could mean an intense upcoming hurricane season for the South and Southeast. With all of the horrific natural disasters we’ve experienced in recent years, that is something that we definitely DON’T need.
To get even more info on the upcoming La Niña, be sure to watch the video below. Better to be safe than sorry!
We’d love to hear what you have to say about the imminent weather changes in your area. What are you expecting in your region? Did you feel the effects of the recent El Niño? What is your favorite type of weather?